By Chinenye Anuforo
Mr. Roman Troedhandl is the Managing Director of Canon Central North Africa (CCNA). In this interview with Daily Sun’s Tech and Gadgets, he speaks on the company’s strategic initiatives and the tech sector,
Canon Central North Africa was established two years ago to support the African market. The office was born out of a need to expand as we realized that we could not develop the African market from Dubai; we need people in the country to help with the operations. We established Canon Nigeria and used the local people to understand the local market. Then we established our service network in the country because Canon has quality product and every quality product needs servicing and support from time to time. We also kick started the “liveforthestory” campaign in Nigeria, to help our customers understand the value in telling stories using imagery. For us, Nigeria is a key market to develop and I believe we are on the right path as regards developing the country’s evolving market.
Size of economy
Of course it is the size and the economy. Nigeria has the biggest economy in Africa, even bigger than South Africa. GDP was recorded at roughly 450 billion as at 2016 which is huge as it shows there are potentials in the country in terms of customer willingness to use quality products. Canon has very relative diversified products from printers, cameras, calculators up to production machines, it is therefore important for us to develop a very strong footprint in Nigeria.
Our newest product is the C200, it joins our range of quality cinema cameras with a super 35mm CMOS image sensor, it offers dual pixel CMOS AF and has dual DIGIC DV 6 processors shooting up to DCI 4K. It is able to shoot up to 60 frames per second (fps) in 4K or 120fps in HD. It shoots in Cinema RAW Light, MP4 and MP4 proxy. We are also interested in the future. We believe 4K is the future as it will make productions easy, but even more not just producing, but also on how to cut and pin everything together. The 4K is much easier than these other technologies. And again it is the software we have that supports it, that means you can have everything out of one hand. Canon can give you the whole solutions.
Film making industry
We aim to become the number one in the industry because it is one of the fastest growing industries in our business world. So especially for Nigeria, I think it is 3 billion, so it is huge and it has given up to 1 million people a job in Nigeria. This is a huge market and Canon has the product and solutions to be a key player in this market. Therefore, I think we need to understand Africa, because there are many more customers from Africa with the potential to grow the global cinematic universe.
Again, a good example is Nigeria, where there are more than 80 movies being produced per week. The production has to be cost effective, with our technology and software, we can support this. In many African countries, the change from underdeveloped to digital is just happening, so that means there won’t be just 1 or 2 channels, but many more channels. But to feed the channels. You have to produce, otherwise if you will not produce locally, the channels will be taken over from outside productions. I think therefore you have to produce many movies with our products supporting this.
Insecurity in Nigeria
I don’t know if you are aware that Canon bought Axis about 2-3 years ago. Axis is the leading cameras in Network camera. Canon also bought Milestone. Milestone is the number one in the Software Company. So Canon now number one in network camera. This gives you everything you need to capture, not only with the hardware but also the best software you have ever seen. With the right infrastructure and cameras there is a possibility to monitor security during day and night.
You might have to check it but I think the companies report makes 20 per cent of the turnover economies worldwide. Last year was one of the best years of Canon Ink, but without this 20 per cent, our turnover book have been reduced per year because some markets are shrinking. And therefore we brought something new, diversified our products in other to remain standing.
I think for digital cameras, a huge change happened in the last 5 years because of mobile phones, they took over 50 per cent of digital camera and you can see Canon is reducing the production of compact cameras. This is because, what the normal compact camera can do. A smartphone can also do. So Canon is going for XLR, which can do more than just taking pictures. Like they always say, “Live for the story”, you need good quality pictures because these pictures can tell a story and for this you need high-end cameras, and this is what Canon is supporting. What we are doing is supporting the customers, and so we train them on how to use these cameras in the best way. It is not just by one button click, you have to understand what a camera can do for you to make quality pictures. And this is what we are doing at the Canon Academy, and of course, there is one in Nigeria. This is how we like to support the consumers to understand their camera. And in Nigeria, everyone who buys a Canon has the right to go to the Academy and get a training.
In this industry, nobody has the product portfolio Canon has. From input to output, only Canon has all the technology to make everything by themselves. And everything is produced by Canon, some of our competitors are into production but they don’t have the technology. Canon has the technology and that is the difference. Roughly 10 per cent of our shareholders are always investing and they are always able to come up with cutting-edge technologies every year. I think this is the difference.
How digital cameras impact African economy
It will have an impact because to produce digital and transmit digital is much easier than developed economy. So I think the market will grow faster, and this will have an impact. Like in the last 10-15 years, how we have communicated, people stopped calling, writing is now much easier. If you see how people are communicating, everyone is sitting on their gadgets, not talking anymore. So I think this is an impact not only for Nigeria but for everyone in the world.
View on technology development in Africa
I think the government has to invest in new technology, this must happen, this cannot come from consumers alone. I think Canon can support with knowledge and expertise. Change from underdeveloped to digital, investments in networks and good technologies
Canon has a big market portfolio that can handle all segments. We have a production machine which costs up to 1 million where you can make book printing and exam printing. For example, in Turkey, when the examinations are starting, it is closed for one week, all exams are printed and delivered to the schools. We have this and also the right products for small companies, for people at home too. We have to understand the diversification.
Canon vision for 2018
Canon Central North Africa was established 2 years ago, and we have a very clear vision that’s says in 2020, our turnover should be 200million Euros and we are on a very good path to getting it. We can make this 200million Euros if we can develop Nigeria, without Nigeria, we cannot do it. So Nigeria must be a strong part of our organization, therefore, it was the first thing that we establish Canon Nigeria, and I think now we have 10 people hired there, which is the biggest organization we have in the country and we are ready to invest further. Therefore, we have to understand the local circumstances, only then can we support our customers, which is why we hired local people. For 2018, the Nigerian economy will be better than it was in the last two years, because in 2015/2016, Nigeria was in recession and everybody is expecting that Nigeria will have a 2% growth this year especially in the broadcast industry, it can be more, because the market itself is booming.as long as the exchange rate is stable, I think I see a good business with Nigeria.